30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Sunday, August 21, 2011

One man's trash...

Is another man's treasure. Or so I've heard...

Last Saturday, I emailed a gentleman about a Craigslist ad he posted. He was giving away a bunch of sports cards and I figured they were long gone, since he posted the ad earlier in the week.

But to my surprise, I received a response Sunday evening that I could have them if I picked them up by 8pm. So, I downloaded a map to his house and when I arrived there were several boxes of cards sitting in his driveway. I was pretty excited because as I loaded my car, I noticed there was a box labeled 1984 Donruss, while another box had a 5x7 of Tony Gwynn, that I'd never seen.

When I got home, I piled everything into my garage. Normally, I'd dive into the collection, but I didn't want to open up Pandora's Box, since I had to go back to work the next day.

The next day, I rushed home to sift through the boxes. I was like a little boy on Christmas morning tearing through presents. And although I didn't discover any vintage Mickey Mantles... I found these:

Completed Sets

1988 Score Baseball Set (1-660)
1988 Topps Baseball Set (1-792)
1990 Score Football Factory Set – Opened (1-660 + 5 bonus cards)
1991-92 Bowman Hockey Factory Set (1-429)
1991 Comic Images Boris Set (1-90)
1991 Impel U.S. Olympic Cards Set (1-90)
1993 Fleer Football Set (1-500)
1993 Studio Baseball Set (1-220)
1994 Fleer Baseball Set (1-720)
1994 Fleer Football Set (1-480)
1994 Upper Deck Football Set (1-330)
1995 Collector’s Choice Football Set (1-348)

Partial Sets

1982 Topps E.T. The Extraterrestrial Set (86/87 cards)
1983 Topps A-Team Set (57/66 cards)
1984 Topps Supergirl Set (38/44 stickers)
1988 Donruss Awesome! All-Stars Text Back Set (57/71 stickers)
1988 Donruss Awesome! All-Stars Puzzle Back Set (41/56 stickers)
1988 Topps Dinosaurs Attack Set (51/55 cards)
1988 Topps Dinosurs Attack Sticker Set (10/11 stickers)
1989 Topps Batman Series 1 Set (122/132 cards)
1990 Topps The Simpsons Sticker Set (20/22 stickers)
1991 Comic Images Boris Set (86/90 cards)
1991 Pro Set Super Stars Musicards Series 1 Set (247/260 cards)
1991 Pro Set Super Stars Musicards Series 1 Promo Set (4/6 cards)
1992 Topps Batman Returns Set (83/88 cards)

A bunch of unopened non-sport wax packs...

These three unopened packs of 1988 Maxx Racing...

As well as this sweet addition to my Tony Gwynn collection...

If you don't recognize this behemoth... it's a 5x7 Lite Beer card commemorating his 1984 batting crown. If anyone out there knows the history behind this piece... I'd love to hear it.

And if these cards weren't enough... there's almost 25,000 additional sports cards and non-sport cards sitting in storage boxes. It took two days to go through them and although there were some minor rookie cards, a few cheap inserts & parallels, and a bunch of star cards... most of the boxes were filled with common cards from the junk wax era.

I did find these...

Which I'll be adding to my "not so mint... but definitely cool vintage" PC.

Plus, I'll be keeping a few of the sets, like the 1993 Studio baseball set and the 1994 Upper Deck football set. And I'll be attempting to build all of those cool non-sports sets... which I'm sure will be interesting and challenging.

The rest of the cards will be given away. Some will be thrown into team bags and given to my students and the rest will be donated to Goodwill.

But before I wrap this up... I want to share one last treasure with all of you.

I know what you're thinking... this haul is no treasure. And I couldn't agree with you more. However... there was a hidden treasure I failed to mention and it's nothing Beckett can place a value on... but at the same time it's something most of us hold dear.

It's the entertainment and joy I obtained, while sitting on my office floor sorting through boxes and boxes of cards... just like when I was a little kid.

Have a great week everyone. Sayonara!


  1. Wow, Growing Pains trading cards, how obscure!

  2. Reguardless of what was inside, the joy of sifting through tat many cards has to be priceless.

  3. good times!!!

    if you want to unload those Maax racing cards or any hockey... lmk.

  4. I currently have two unopened boxes of those Nintendo Game Packs in my closet. I used to have a ton of those Dick Tracy cards too. Well, until my mother wrote all over them because I wrote all over her playing cards. How amusing. If you want to trade those Simpsons stickers, let me know.

  5. ryan h - lol... believe it or not, that was one of my favorite finds and it'll fit nicely into my non-sport wax pack collection.

    ba benny - it was a blast... just me, star trek tng, and a bunch of cards for i'm guessing 10+ hours.

    captain canuck - i'll head over to your site and look for your wantlist and see if there's anything you can use. i'm holding onto the maxx packs though... actually debating on ripping them, but will most likely keep them sealed.

    hackenbush - thanks!

    moremonkeys138 - are you just a simpsons fan? or are you building that set too? i'm going to try to finish off the set, but there were a few doubles. lmk if you have any to trade yourself.

  6. '84 Donruss!

    That alone makes it a treasure. The guy you got those from looked like some kind of collector. He didn't miss a set did he?

  7. Sounds like a fun way to spend a few hours.

  8. night owl - my original title for this post was sloppy seconds... but i didn't want to offend anyone. i'm thinking that the guy who gave these away picked up a huge lot of cards, yanked out all of the good stuff and dumped the rest off to me. there were a bunch of 84 donruss, but not mattinglys or strawberrys... although there was a nice dwayne murphy diamond card i'm keeping.

    section 36 & play at the plate - it was a blast... one of the things that attracted me to this hobby is the sorting.

  9. I must have missed that ad. I'm always looking at Craigslist. Wow, that is pure insanity!

    If you decide you aren't keeping the '94 Fleer baseball set, I'd like to work a trade for that or buy it from you, and the same goes for any other oddballs like the Gwynn (you said you're keeping that but if there's anything like it).

    I have to agree, the fun of just sorting through cards is priceless, regardless of how much the cards are "worth" in the book. It's always been why I enjoy opening packs and boxes.

  10. Nothing wrong with that at all. I find it odd now that we talk about 'gimmicks" and "junk wax" Where did the 'FUN" in collecting go? The fact that you really should be opening new packs of cards with white gloves and immediately putting them in penny sleeves is sad. They are 2.5 X 3.5 pieces of cardboard. They should be enjoyed, sorted and dare I say, played with for enjoyment. Doesn't seem to be much middle ground anymore between the negative connotation of the "lowly comoon card" and "chaffing the wheat" frenzy to get to the hits, only to complain about them. It's a shame that some collectors today will never experience the kind of fun you had. I would have been right there on the floor of your office with you because it would have been fun just to explore and sort.

  11. Ryan G - The 1993 through 1995 sets are spoken for as well as the Boris set. I'm planning on holding onto the Gwynn.

    There were a few other oversized cards from mid 80's Donruss... but they weren't in very good condition. There were also a few KC Royals team issue cards that were autographed, but they were beaten up too.

    I went back yesterday to look for the ad to take a screen shot, but the guy had taken it down.

    Baseball Nut - Yeah... sometimes it's good to go back to the good old days of busting packs and looking for funny looking photos and players from our favorite teams.

  12. Any Boxing stuff in there??? Maybe in that Olympic stuff??

  13. AdamE - Found 3 boxing cards in the 1991 Impel Olypmic set...

    17 Eddie Eagan
    29 Sugar Ray Leonard
    73 Colonel F. Don Miller

    Outside of those... I didn't see any boxing cards.